The UK government has announced £10m investment into two new research hubs that will provide data and analytics to financial institutions such as banks, lenders, investors and insurers around the world in order to help them improve their environmental investments.
The UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment will begin in April 2021, with physical hubs in Leeds and London to open shortly after by a partnership with a number of UK institutions including University of Oxford, the University of Leeds and Imperial College London.
The new centre will equip banks with the latest environmental and scientific intelligence to help companies of all sizes, including start-ups, anticipate, adapt and gear up for the risks posed by climate change.
This also aims to help the creation of new products and services that tackle climate change, such as technologies that measure severe storms and flood risks for property investors and tools that can improve data on industrial pollution linked to investment portfolios.
Energy and clean growth minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Climate change is the biggest issue we need to tackle to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren. While the government has invested billions of pounds so we can end the UK’s contribution to climate change, we will not reach our net-zero target without mobilising private capital and unleashing the power of the free market.”
Last year chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the UK would make Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) aligned disclosures mandatory.
Economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen said: “We’ve set the ambition for net zero – now we must ensure our financial sector has the tools and information to get behind the transition. We’re already improving the climate data available by mandating TCFD-aligned disclosures across the economy and implementing a green taxonomy.”
Director and principal investigator of CGFI and Lombard Odier associate professor of sustainable finance at the University of Oxford, Ben Caldecott, said: “The Centre for Greening Finance and Investment will allow financial institutions to access scientifically robust climate and environmental data for any point on planet earth now and projected into the future, and for every major sector of the global economy. Doing so will create public goods and unlock innovation.”